A FAMILY from Bedfordshire have brought two prominent Cockermouth shop units back to life – creating a farmshop and florist in the town.

The Haynes family moved to Cumbria last year, opening florist Hollie and Belle on Station Street, as well as farmshop Ollievander's on Main Street - with owners Vannessa and Mark at the helm, supported by their daughter Sarah.

The family moved to the county for a change of lifestyle and say they are passionate about providing the best kind of local produce and a good quality service in their businesses.

Vannessa said: “We moved to Cumbria last April and decided to open a florist. My husband has also opened Ollievander’s, which is a fruit and veg shop down on the corner of Bridge Street.

Times and Star: The farm shop on Main Street is full of fresh Cumbrian produce.The farm shop on Main Street is full of fresh Cumbrian produce. (Image: NQ staff)

“The plan was to open them both at the same time, but the florist was a bit delayed, so we never opened in here until just before Christmas.

“The shop is named after our two little girls: we have got Hollie Rose and Daisy Belle, so Hollie and Belle.

“We are just a small family-run business. It's just a lifestyle change for us moving up to Cumbria from Bedfordshire. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and when people get to know us I think they start to get to know what we are about.”

The family have been grateful for the support their businesses have received since opening in late 2023.

Times and Star: Sarah serving customers behind the counter in Ollievanders.Sarah serving customers behind the counter in Ollievanders. (Image: NQ staff)

Vannessa said: “People have just been so welcoming. We have just been really grateful that people are coming back and using us again, being so welcoming and so happy to see us in the town, rather than empty shops... that’s been really nice.

“We are keeping it local for both businesses. For the fruit and veg we try and source as much fruit and veg locally as we can, for the florist it’s about bringing a local service to local people.

“We just want to provide a service that makes people a lot happier, or helps them get through a really tough time - flowers just say so much.”

The florist has a service which delivers flowers as far as Keswick and down the A595 as far as Egremont. The family also do fruit and vegetable deliveries from Ollievander's.

In the future, Vanessa hopes to start floral and wreath making classes in Hollie and Belle, as well as creating Cumbrian candles to sell in the shop.